Finchingfield's Bethany Shriever crowned Young Sportswoman of the Year
- Credit: PA
Olympic gold medallist Bethany Shriever has been crowned The Sunday Times' Young Sportswoman of the Year.
Shriever, from Finchingfield, won the award after becoming the BMX racing Olympic champion in July before winning the World Championships in August.
She made history as the first woman to hold both the Olympic and World Champion titles for BMX racing in the same year.
Sunday Times judges said: "Bethany Shriever made history by winning BMX gold for Team GB at Tokyo 2020.
"She went unbeaten through her three semi-final runs and crossed the line just 0.090 seconds ahead of Colombia's Marian Pajon to be crowned Olympic champion in the final.
"Alongside realising her dream of becoming an Olympic champion, the 22-year-old hopes to be a role model to young female BMX riders all over the UK."
Shriever is a former Helena Romanes School, Great Dunmow pupil.
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She started her training at Braintree BMX club, and part-crowdfunded her training for Tokyo 2020 after a funding cut for women's BMX following the Rio 2016 games.
The "ultimate" Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year award went to Emma Raducanu.
Sunday Times journalist Rebecca Myers praised the tennis player from Bromley for being a source of inspiration and positive influence for women across the country.
She said: "Congratulations to all our winners in what has been a groundbreaking year for women's sport.
"Our very worthy Sportswoman of the Year for 2021, Emma Raducanu, made history at the US Open and inspired so many young girls and women back home with her success."
Ellie Simmonds, former Paralympic swimmer, won an award named after the late sports presenter Helen Rollason which recognises "inspirational endeavour".
Helen Rollason spent much of her broadcasting and reporting career in Essex.
Hannah Cockroft won Disability Sportswoman of the Year, Rachael Blackmore was The Sunday Times' Editor's Choice, and The Sky Sports Team of the Year award went to cyclists Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald.
Voters chose sports coach Clova Court as Grassroots Sportswoman of the Year, and women's health expert Dr Emma Ross won the Changemaker Award.